Pitch Dark by Paul Doiron

I've always had mixed feelings about long-running series. On the one hand, I appreciate the depth of following characters across multiple books. On the other hand, starting a new series can be daunting, especially with annual releases. With this trepidation, I approached Paul Doiron's latest book, Pitch Dark. The premise of a game warden investigating a crime in the remote wilderness intrigued me, and when his publisher offered me a review copy, I was eager to dive in. However, I was also apprehensive because Pitch Dark is the 15th novel in Doiron's Mike Bowditch series. I wondered if I could jump into the story and still follow along.

As the novel begins, Mike Bowditch, an investigator for the Maine Bureau of Warden Services, receives a call from a young warden about a potentially missing man. This man was searching for Mark Redmond, a skilled builder working on the property of Mike's friend and experienced bush pilot, Josie Johnson. Upon arriving at the scene, Mike finds Mark missing. Josie mentions Mark's exceptional craftsmanship, a rare skill in this remote area. Mark had agreed to build Josie's home in exchange for living on the property and homeschooling his 12-year-old daughter, Cady.

Mike immediately senses something amiss, and his suspicions are soon confirmed by a gruesome murder shortly after his arrival. He sets off through the dense Maine forest towards Canada with only his experience and instinct to help him chase down the allusive fugitive. Mike marvels at his adversary's superior bushcraft skills as he navigates the dense terrain. As he tries to save the life of a young girl, Mike faces the unsettling question: is he the hunter or the hunted in this deadly game?

Paul Doiron immerses readers in the rugged landscape of the Maine wilderness, plunging them straight into the heart of the action. As someone new to the series, it took me a while to grasp the characters and their dynamics, yet this initial unfamiliarity did little to diminish my enjoyment of the narrative. The explosive start captivated me, and I eagerly anticipated each twist and turn. While familiarity with the preceding novels would provide deeper context, Pitch Dark reads just fine on its own merits. If anything, it left me eager to explore the earlier installments from the beginning.

Pitch Dark delivers a tense cat-and-mouse chase through rugged wilderness, unafraid to explore its darker depths. The conclusion is satisfying yet leaves a tantalizing cliffhanger, setting the stage for the next book. I approached this novel with some trepidation, unsure of diving in without prior knowledge, but now I can't wait to see where Doiron will take the story next.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads

(2024, 50)

This entry was posted on Monday, June 24, 2024 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

24 Responses to “Pitch Dark by Paul Doiron”

  1. I know what you mean about having mixed feelings when it to long-running series, especially when you didn't start reading the first books when they came out. It can be daunting to contemplate jumping in somewhere in the middle. But with this series it seems to work. I read the 12th book first, then went back and read the 6th, and enjoyed both, even if there were a few things about the characters and their relationships I wasn't quite up to speed on. And I'm thinking I might just jump ahead and read this one next. Because the premise appeals to me. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to know this is one I can jump in and out of!

      Delete
  2. I am listening to this one now. I started reading this series a year or two ago. I didn't start at the beginning either. Like you I was a little apprehensive just diving in, but I think each of the stories hold up well on their own. I do have a sense of the characters more now after listening to several of the books and now I read each new installment. I love the setting too! Doiron makes the Maine landscape come alive, rugged and beautiful! I've visited once, but this series makes me want to get out there again! So happy you enjoyed the story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It took me a little bit to grasp the characters fully, but Doiron does a good job of reacquainting us with everyone. I can't say the same for the Harlan Coben book I'm reading right now. My first Myron Bolitar has me feeling rather lost in the woods.

      Delete
  3. That was quite the jump, I can understand your hesitation

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Overall, I feel this one nicely balances the series installment and standalone aspects.

      Delete
  4. Long series also make me nervous. Can I just jump in anywhere? Or do I have to start from the beginning? And if I have to start from the beginning, am I really going to dedicate a whole fifteen books to getting to the current release? I'm glad this one seems to have struck a good balance, at least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are my hesitations too. This one works just fine as a standalone though

      Delete
  5. There are many new releases that I come across that sound intriguing, but when I see one is part of a long-running series I am definitely wary. It's great that you were able to dive into this one and still appreciate the story without having all of the background knowledge. Sounds like this one is worth keeping up with!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems like other readers have been able to jump around this series too, so I'll definitely plan to revisit it from time to time.

      Delete
  6. That's awesome that you were able to jump into the story so far into the series. It sounds like a really intriguing read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a fun chase through the rugged wilderness.

      Delete
  7. Looks like the gamble of diving into the series mid-stream paid off. And, yay, added bonus of all the backlist to enjoy now that you really like the series. I had a chance to visit Maine a few times and it is gorgeous in the backcountry. I'll have to add this series to my groaning wish list.

    Great review, Ethan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maine is on my list of places to travel to one day!

      Delete
  8. This looks good, and yep I have gone back and read the rest of many a series after accidentally picking up and loving a later book. I love the setting and atmospheric tone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The setting in this one really adds to the story!

      Delete
  9. Great review! It does sound really good.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's great that you were able to jump into this series. I appreciate when an author writes them that way. I am by no means an outdoorsy type, but I love the wilderness setting. That element of danger and fight for survival turns things up a notch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many of the books on my TBR this summer use a wilderness setting, so I'm in for the long haul!

      Delete
  11. "The conclusion is satisfying yet leaves a tantalizing cliffhanger"
    Not an easy feat! Now I wonder how the author managed to pull it off...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? The story comes to an end, but there's definitely more to come...

      Delete
  12. I could never just jump in in the middle you are very brave and I am glad it worked out. Will you go back and read previous titles or just move forward from here?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure yet. 15 books is a lot to go back and read

      Delete

Powered by Blogger.